New Stroke Stats Released

Despite significant declines in stroke mortality in recent years, stroke continues to be a leading cause of death in the United States, with persistent sociodemographic and geographic disparities, according to the latest Data Brief from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Stroke remained the fourth leading cause of death among adults aged 45 years and older during the years 2010 to 2012 and the fifth leading cause in 2013.

“Consequently, there is an ongoing need to monitor the current magnitude and patterns of stroke mortality,” write the report authors, led by Deborah D. Ingram, PhD, Office of Analysis and Epidemiology, NCHS.

The report describes current variations in stroke mortality by age, race and Hispanic origin, median household income, urbanization level of county of residence, and residence outside or inside the Stroke Belt.

Variation by Race

The age-adjusted stroke death rate for non-Hispanic black men aged 45 years and older (154.8 deaths per 100,000 population) was 54% higher than the rate for non-Hispanic white men, 67% higher than the rate for non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander men, and 68% higher than the rate for Hispanic men of the same age.

The rate for non-Hispanic black women (131.4 per 100,000 population) was 30% higher than the rate for non-Hispanic white women, 58% higher than the rate for non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander women, and 61% higher than the rate for Hispanic women of the same age.

Non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander and Hispanic men and women had the lowest age-adjusted stroke death rates. Non-Hispanic white men and women aged 45 years and older had similar age-adjusted stroke death rates.

More than a quarter of stroke deaths among non-Hispanic black people aged 45 years and older (28.6%) occurred among those in the youngest age group (45 to 64 years). By contrast, the portion of stroke deaths in this age group among other race-ethnicity groups ranged from one tenth among non-Hispanic white people to less than a quarter among Hispanic people.

The portion of stroke deaths in the older age group (85 years and older) was largest among non-Hispanic white people (47.4%) and lowest among non-Hispanic black people (24.9%).

The age-adjusted stroke death rate for those aged 45 years and older decreased as median household income increased. The rate for people residing in counties in the lowest median household income quartile was 32% higher than the rate for those residing in counties in the highest quartile (126.9 vs 96.1 deaths per 100,000 population).

Among those aged 45 years and older, age-adjusted stroke death rates were highest in nonmetropolitan counties and lowest in large central and large fringe metropolitan counties (those in suburbs of large cities).

Non-Hispanic black and white people aged 45 years and older residing inside the Stroke Belt (which in this report includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) experienced excess stroke mortality compared with their counterparts outside the Stroke Belt (22% and 21% higher mortality).

The age-adjusted stroke death rate for non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islanders residing inside the Stroke Belt did not differ from the rate for those residing outside the Stroke Belt.

In contrast to other population groups, Hispanic people living inside the Stroke Belt had substantially lower stroke mortality than Hispanic people living outside the Stroke Belt (50.8 compared with 87.6 deaths per 100,000 population).

You can read more at medscape.com.

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